#neocafoscarini: Martina and Sandra, 'counselors' for international students

Martina Bernardi and Sandra Zodiaco are offering a new service to international students from the Guidance and Counseling, Internship and Placement Office: they are the international side of the Tutoring Sector and as Counselors they support students and coordinate initiatives, projects, and activities aimed at international degree-seeking students for their whole period of study in Venice. They told us about their mission at Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

1.When did you arrive at Ca’ Foscari and what are your tasks at the university?
We started working at Ca’ Foscari as Counselors for international students last May. We represent the international branch of the Guidance Unit and we aim to coordinate and organize several initiatives, projects and activities targeted at international degree-seeking students throughout their stay in Venice.

2. How and in which situations should international students contact you?
International students can contact us anytime when they are experiencing difficulties with some administrative issues and/or their University career. We can provide them with information, administrative support and help in case of university-related problems. We also are available for a talk and we invite students to share their experience at Ca’ Foscari and in Italy.
Students can come to our desk, the Counselors’ Desk, by booking an appointment online or contact us via email ( counselor.cf@unive.it). You can also follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.it/counselingternational).

3. Which questions arise the most?
Most students inquire about the organization of the academic calendar and some administrative procedures, such as filling in their study plan. Many students who come into contact with us are interested also in mobility programmes and internships. In addition to providing support at our desk, in order to answer the students’ questions and help them, we have created some informative materials in English, such as the “Glossary for international students” (downloadable at: www.unive.it/pag/fileadmin/user_upload/ateneo/tutorato_buddy/documenti/counseling/glossario_international.pdf).

4. How should international students prepare their academic year at Ca’ Foscari?
Both Italian and international students need to organize very well their University experience in order to kick start a new academic year. Of course, first of all they are expected to understand which courses are to be taken, then to study hard, to attend the classes and to ask all the questions that might arise during the lessons. Since the Italian educational system may differ from the one adopted in other countries, any doubts must be solved. For these reasons, international students are required to plan their (new) life at Ca’ Foscari and in Venice even more carefully than Italian students.

5. Would you have any advice for international students?
In order to make the most of your time at Ca’ Foscari University, get outside your comfort zone, try to fully immerse yourself in Venetian life and get involved in the activities on and off the university campus as much as you can!